Rep. Gabrielle Giffords returns to vote on debt ceiling

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is the first Jewish woman to be elected from Arizona.

Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed the bill to raise the debt ceiling. While the bill itself may not have made everyone happy, the appearance of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords sure did!

Rep. Giffords returned to the House for the first time after being shot at a rally in January. After a long and difficult recovery, Rep. Giffords arrived on the House floor in the last two minutes to cast her vote. Accompanied by her husband, she did not answer any questions but walked on her own, waved, and received warm hugs from her colleagues. She said in a statement

"I have closely followed the debate over our debt ceiling and have been deeply disappointed at what's going on in Washington ... After weeks of failed debate in Washington, I was pleased to see a solution to this crisis emerge. I strongly believe that crossing the aisle for the good of the American people is more important than party politics. I had to be here for this vote. I could not take the chance that my absence could crash our economy."

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz told the New York Times: "The room just exploded ... Everybody’s heart was so grizzled and hardened," she said. When Giffords walked into the room, "everybody’s heart just melted."

In what has been such a divisive, and disheartening time for politics, the recovery of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is a bright light in the darkness.

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How to cite this page

Berkenwald, Leah. "Rep. Gabrielle Giffords returns to vote on debt ceiling." 2 August 2011. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on October 23, 2021) <>.

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